Once again its almost a new year and time to start thinking about resolutions. I must admit I love this time of year. I’m always so ready to say good-bye to December and hello January because it is a new beginning. A time of soul-searching and reflecting, it’s a fresh start and maybe even time to reinvent yourself. As the clock strikes twelve it’s magical and a time to reset and look forward to another year filled with the promise to be the best year yet. Okay, that maybe going a little over board, but “it’s never too late to be what you might have been” (George Eliot).
The truth is that about 45% of Americans make resolutions and about 8% achieve them. So to make your resolution become a reality you must do more than just say them. If I say I want to lose 50 pounds, stop procrastinating, get out of debt, or quilt smoking, I need to have a plan of action to put these resolutions into force to be successful. If I want to lose weight I may enlist the help of a friend to workout with and keep me accountable or join a support group. If your goal is getting out of debt, or saving money I highly recommend the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course. To quite smoking may take a visit to your doctor for medication or check your local newspaper for a class and support.
The number one resolution is losing weight and getting into shape and that is no surprise with so many Americans being overweight.
The Statistic Brain Research Institute list the 10 top resolutions as:
- Lose weight
- Getting organized
- Spend less, save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Stay fit and healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quilt smoking
- Help others in their dreams
- Fall in love
- Spend more time with family
I know several of them have been on my list over the years and I can’t say I have landed in the 8% of achieving them, but this year will be different and here is why. I will state my resolutions, write them down and make an action plan for each one. I plan on checking my list each month to see how I’m doing. This will keep my resolutions in focus so that they don’t wilt and wither by valentines day. I will not expect perfection all the time. I know that it takes 4 to 6 weeks to create a new habit and nothing happens overnight. I have nothing on my list that is not obtainable and I know I will be a better me by next year.
An example of an action plan might look like this. If my new years resolution is to save more and spend less, I will:
- Set up an automatic withdrawal from paycheck to go into savings
- Sign up for a Dave Ramsey course that is offered at local church or on-line
- Set up a budget that I will revise each month if needed
- Start clipping coupons and take a how-to coupon class
- Use the web site site Rakinginthesavings
- Use the web site Thedollarstretcher
- Clean out my closet, kids toy box, and garage to have a yard sale in the spring
- Sell items I don’t need or use on Craigslist
- For one month I will cook meals from foods I have in my freezer and pantry
- Plan my meals around the sales at the grocery stores weekly ads
- Eat out less
- Will not go shopping without a list of what I need to buy. I will stick to the list
- Have a month of no spending (I will only pay the bills and buy groceries)
- Turn hobbies into profit
Now that you have thought of your resolutions its time it’s time to say them out loud, pick up a pen and paper and start writing, or hit the keyboard and start typing. With some creative thinking and planning you can easily reach your new years resolutions and be one of the 8 percent that actually succeeds.